2002-09-21 / Columnists

Notes From The High C’s

By Sharon Gabriel

Notes From The High C's

Rockaway Music and Arts Council

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by since we "planned" for our last RMAC Fall Festival. How could we have possibly known that our country, our state, our city and our own little peninsula would be attacked by such uncaring, unthinking and heartless persons. It's even hard to call them human beings. Our Rockaway peninsula was especially hard-hit by 9/11/01 and then again in November. We all gave as much as possible by contributing food, money and prayer and here we are one year later and it seems like only yesterday. We all know someone who was involved in the catastrophes, whether family or friend; everyone in Rockaway was touched by these events.

Our Fall Festival last year was cancelled by an edict from the Mayor that there were to be no outdoor street events and so at the last minute, actually on the Thursday of the Festival weekend, we called all of our vendors, cause groups and all others involved to ask them to bear with us and hopefully come back this year.

Our RMAC Fall Festival is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29 at Riis Park. We hope you will come to visit as we honor our friends and neighbors who are no longer with us. Our flags and banners will be flying high.

Our planning for this year started at the end of last year and our Festival Chairman, John Musumeci, had once again handled a very difficult job with his usual style and grace. Fern Liberman is in charge of the vendors and Fern and her husband Nat go from event to event all year to find the perfect vendors for our Festival. This year we will have approximately 65 vendors from as far away as Ohio and North Carolina. The artists who exhibit at the Festival are fantastic, starting with our own Arlene Cornell, Steve Yaeger and Patrick Antonelli. Additionally, there will be photographers and glass painters. There will be ceramics and furniture makers and mums for sale, brought to us from Wading River, Long Island. In addition to our wonderful food vendors who are with us year after year, including The Pickle People and The Potato Man, there will be some new and exciting types of food to try.

The Shore Garden Club of Belle Harbor and Neponsit will be in the flower tent toward the eastern end of the Festival. Nadia Murphy, the President of the Club and her members have done a magnificent job throughout Rockaway with beautiful plantings to brighten our Peninsula. Their exhibit will be something special. Don't forget to stop into their tent and say hello.

Many of the beautiful kites that were part of the Chamber's Kite Festival a few weeks ago, will be exhibited on the fence in front of the bathroom. For the children who may be inspired, we will have the old-fashioned, diamond-shaped kites that the children can decorate with their own designs, then put together and fly. The kite table will be in the children' s area and there will be plenty of markers for the children to use to design their own individual kites. They can then take them home and put them together with the necessary materials provided, including cord, streamers and a handle, as well as instructions.

In addition to the kites, the children are in for a special surprise as Ronald McDonald will be at the Festival on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. when he will do his magic show and then walk around to meet and greet everyone. So if you are a Ronald fan, be sure to be at the Festival on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, and Sunday as well, the Long Island Reptile Museum will have a hands-on exhibit and do several shows during both days. Bleachers will be available to watch the shows and then people are welcome to come up to the table to have a closer look. The trained staff from the Reptile Museum will be happy to show you the iguanas, snakes, lizards, etc. This will be a wonderful experience for the children and I dare say, for some of us adults as well.

Our very own Rockaway Theatre Company will be performing as they have at past Festivals, but we don't have the program as yet. Not to worry, the RTC are just the greatest. Each year their productions get better and better. From "Come Blow Your Horn" to "Guys and Dolls" and "Lend Me A Tenor," their actors, actresses and production staff have became the "must see" people in Rockaway. So come by at the Festival to see them perform.

Another new exhibit will be the "My Generation" Magazine Roadshow. With an extra large exhibit and many things to see, the Roadshow will have information and be able to answer questions regarding the AARP for all of us "senior folk."

Once again our "Cause Area" will include the Queens District Attorney's office who will be fingerprinting the children. With all the kidnappings that have unfortunately been happening lately, it isn't a bad idea to stop and have your children fingerprinted. Our local post office will have information of importance available and be able to answer your questions. The New York Aquarium will be presenting some hands-on material. Please stop by at the Police Department table to say hello, ask questions and meet some of our local police officers. The Fire Department and their Fire Safety House will be there. This is one of the most important places to stop. They will explain what we should do if there is a fire in our home. I personally feel this is probably the number one problem we may face at home and in our frantic endeavor to do the right thing, we may just do the wrong thing. So, stop at the Fire Safety House for a lesson.

Another exhibitor in the "Cause Area" is the North Shore Animal League with their puppies and kittens for adoption. The line at their trailer never stops and this is one place you can adopt the most adorable pets for your children. In the event you want something a little larger, the Long Island Greyhound Transfer will have beautiful greyhounds for adoption. The handlers will be happy to provide information on their adoption procedures.

Need a karate lesson, come by and watch the Bruce Hodes World Champion Karate Center perform. The youngsters are just fantastic.

The Rockaway Museum and the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce will have information of interest to all in Rockaway. Be sure to stop by their table.

Of course our old standbys will be back, the pony rides and face painting for the children and all sorts of demonstrations throughout the day at the Demonstration Tent.

Finally, we couldn't do it without you. The RMAC tent is in the middle of the Festival; stop by to say hello and become a member of the RMAC. Your financial support is what makes us go on. We couldn't do it without you.

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